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Grateful Dead Live at Oxford Plains Speedway on 1988-07-02

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Grateful Dead Live at Oxford Plains Speedway on 1988-07-02

Topics Live concert

Iko Iko -> Jack Straw, West L.A. Fadeaway, Memphis Blues, Row Jimmy, Blow Away, Victim Or The Crime, Foolish Heart Crazy Fingers-> Playin-> Uncle John's Band-> Terrapin Station-> Drums-> Space-> The Wheel-> Gimmie Some Lovin-> All Along The Watchtower-> Morning Dew-> Sugar Magnolia - E: Mighty The Mighty Quinn

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Oxford Plains Speedway
Location Oxford, ME

Source SBD + AUD Matrix Mix
Taped by
Transferred by


Source: SBD + AUD 'Matrix Mix'

Source 1) FOB Schoeps CMC42s (8ft. spaced omni) > PCM F1/SL2000, then PCM 601ES > DAT > CDR

Source 2) SBD > Dat > Sonic Solutions > CDR

Both sources were extracted using EAC and time aligned/mixed/shn'ed by using Cool Edit 2k (see additional notes in text file)


Reviewer: Niass200 - - October 27, 2015
Subject: Iranian Airliner shot down
isnt this the show or 7/3 where the US shot down the Iranian airline kiling 282 civiians onboard? yes it is. I took two drops the 2ndnight and was not present for most of the Little Feat noise and barely came to for the Dead. Kind heads said Ru OK and I was. but on would have been enough. Was clean but way tooo much, I as 20 or so then. Twas good but parking was a nightmare etc and my friend had 29 Fosters and wouldn't give me one. How weird he was. Now he's normal.
Reviewer: lp357 - favoritefavorite - October 4, 2015
Subject: 250,000
I think you got your stats from "zoog", another reason I stopped going to shows in the 80's. A diminished version of a great band!
Reviewer: Headstrung - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 3, 2015
Subject: Fun show
This was a great break from the miserable stadium shows that had plagued the East Coast for several years prior. Not to say that some of those shows didn't have their moments but those concrete jungles just plain and simple sucked. Just for the record there were not 250,000 people inside and also outside for a total of 500,000 people. That is just plain silly. That said you should have seen the fish I just caught...
Reviewer: Zoog - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 30, 2015
Subject: Best... Shows.... EVER
We took a busload of newbs to their first Dead Show. Let's stop for a second and consider what was going on: crowd control experts estimated that there were 250,000 people inside the speedway and another 250,000 outside the speedway. The Dead had their tower speakers they rarely used, and many of them were pointed outward so the crowd outside blended with the one inside. Quite simply, it was the biggest concert in human history. The Parking Lot scene was endless and everyone was in a most excellent and sharing mood.

This is me: my friends made me swear to take every drug offered to me. We are sitting around a campfire chilling with about 60 strangers and I'm already on 5 different kinds of mushies and 3 different types of Bear, a ton of whippets and throwing down drinks when this girl comes skipping up, zeros in right on me and asks "have you ever tried opium before?" Ummm, no. So I had to try it and in a hot second I'm astral-projecting. I'm still sitting cross-legged but i'm about 30 feet above my body, also cross-legged below me. I can hear everything and what was cool was I could see above the trees and scoped the perfect path to the concert through all of these endless camps. I KNEW RIGHT WHERE TO GO~!

Some of you might remember that old Dead "Soapium" that smelled like it had been cut with Ivory Soap and Strawberries. I don't think I toked Laxmi Dhoop but Dragon's Blood laced with Fentanyl. That was the second time in my life I had lucidly projected and it was rad!

On the way into the show everyone was offering me free beers, which of course I had to drink. Inside there were fairies running around with vials of fluff, which of course I had to take! Hey, GDF guys with your wing-pins, don't talk to me about thumbprints bros, back in the day we got face-melted directly from the vials, I'm guessing there was enough in that dropper to make at least a sheet of white-crystal fluff hits! Damn!!!!!

Halfway through the show I had to go for a walk. Keep in mind, there are over 250,000 people in that show and we didn't have a flag or anything. I just had the mic-forest as a reference point. I went everywhere and smoked some of those bowls that were the size of my head, and somehow I made it back to my peeps who were quite amazed! They made me lead them on a tour of the place! The worst thing - remember the Heads who threw down their blankets to mark their "space" and then acted offended when you walked over them? DUDES - THERE ARE 250,000 PEOPLE HERE. YOU'RE BLANKETS ARE GETTING STEPPED ON. DEAL WITH IT. LOVE YA.

Those Oxford shows were amazing and the nights were just as awesome! Everyone was partying like their lives depended on it and there was insane amounts of love and peace everywhere. All of the newbs we took were transformed. Those were no ordinary Dead shows! I've seen lists of the best shows, and I've never understood how any of the Oxford shows were never included. Absolutely amazing to three infinities squared times four eternities! The largest gathering of the Tribes ever in human history! And who can forget the end song of July 3rd: "Not Fade Away" where the band said goodbye and the crowd of half a million sang the lyrics for the next hour as we all shuffled off to our camps:

I wanna tell you how it's gonna be
You're gonna give your love to me
I wanna love you night and day
You know my love will not fade away
You know my love will not fade away
Not fade away

My love's bigger than a Cadillac
I try to show you but you drive me back
Your love for me has got to be real
You're gonna know just how I feel
Love's real, not fade away
Not fade away

Crowd repeats for the next hour: "love's real, not fade away, love's real not fade away"

Anyone wanna rap about those days, shoot me an email ""
Reviewer: Lucidpsychosis - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 1, 2015
Subject: Skullfucked
Those Phil bombs
Reviewer: spacey - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 23, 2015
Subject: my sons first dead show (in my belly)
was 7 months prego, single and kinda scared of the unknown. sobbed tears of every emotion there is for that whole morning dew!!!
"thought i heard a baby cry this morning guess it doesn't matter anyway..."
((jerry)) <3 ::blessed::
Reviewer: HarpersFerry - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 10, 2014
Subject: I Lived down the road
Took my wife (a non DeadHead) to this show. Her first one. She walked out of the show "impressed"...
She went to about 10 more shows after that.
We had to walk miles!
The crowd was impressive.
The vibe was perfect.
Still my favorite Foolish Heart.

Sure miss going to Grateful Dead Concerts.
Reviewer: The Dirty Mac - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 3, 2013
Subject: Grumpy Granola Rollas (G/D Music Critics)
For once and all can we just all get along?

It's July 2, 2013, I'm relaxing (like everyone should) with Oxford Plains Speedway from This Day in 1988. And you know what? It's cool. It's a rockin' little show, tight as a fresh acorn. Even in my dye-hard tape trading days I never heard of this one, or really, most of the gems I've found on the Archives. If the Grateful Dead Archives were a movie Indiana Jones would fight Nazis for 'em.

(Now they've just gone from a really nice Crazy Fingers into an outstanding, outstanding Playin' jam- and that's cool. Listen close for this Uncle Johns...)

What's also cool is reading TDCarowindz's 7/2/12 review about buying an ounce of mushrooms for $20 from a suitcase in somebody's trunk in Maine at this show! And about syvhead getting smoked out by a redneck and then seeing him at that (this) show later that night. And Chirs U, January 2, 2008, who contributes "too much processed cheese will make you sick." Umm, ok. I love this shit! This is what makes the Dead the Grateful Dead. Celebrate the music, celebrate the scene, celebrate the celebration.

Every so often I read a review from what I have begun the call "grumpy granola rollas" who vehemently complain about the "social/cultural" reviews of shows and just want to stick to brass tacks: jerry's chops, bobby's timbre, phil's rhythm, the rating in a particular year, season, guitar model number, etc.- and that's fine and cool too. It is a big part of the value of these Archives.

BUT- I must point out that the folks writing about the weird hitchhiker they picked up in Vermont or the crazy morning after in the corn fields never seem to complain about the "music critics." Nobody ever says:

"Yawn...can somebody please stop XXXXXXXX from yet another vivisection of minute 2:12 of Slipknot!?"


"If I hear another 'whoa- this recording is so crisp' i'm going to lose it!!!"


"I guess nobody can just enjoy the scene and drugs and forget all about the music- lame."

Get what I'm saying? So, just back off all y'all grumpy granola rollas, yo- Puff on one and remember the romance and magic that was every Grateful Dead show. Remember that

"since the end is never told
we pay the teller off in gold
in the hopes that he will come back..."

Tune it up and Turn it up

...Ladies and Gentlemen:
the Grateful Dead.
Reviewer: syvhead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 10, 2013
Subject: 'Nuff said
I'm the luckiest damn 88 newbie!!! This was my first show, and it was mind blowing. The Playin' jam was a masterpiece. 'Nuff said. Oxford was the coolest experience: I don't know how big the venue was--say 20K--and a million people showed up. Got a lift from an ultra-hick Dead Head in overalls and a straw hat to go get beer at a bullshit-trailer-stop-7-11, smoked me out in the back of his Bronco, and I saw him that night at the show. Should have played the lotto that day. I saw a lot of shows in the late 80s and early 90s, and this still tops my list. Not a 5-8-77, but 7-2-88 should be on more must listen lists...
Reviewer: TDCarowindz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 2, 2012
Subject: parking lot scene
what a great weekend, the parking lot scene was really laidback, except for a few run ins with security...some rednecked kids they hired for the show. traffic was moving slwo and i was walking down the road taking things in and when i heard someone ask for a miracle i asked if they had any shrooms, they stopped right on the road, 20 feet from a cop, popped the trunk, opened a suitcase that must have had 100 oz gave me a "Z" for $20. shroomed all weekend, turned on a lot of great people i met and saw some very interesting things. anyone remeber the tye dyed german shepard? did anyone else try to swim at the "town pond" there was a little old deputy there his gun almost as big as he was...told us to turn around and go home...hhmmmmmpphhh..i will always remember the ultr-light flying over...the clouds opened up just enough to see the sun and right out of the sun came this ultra-light, we all saw it at the same time and everyone gave a shout.
beautiful time all in all, great crowd...glad to have these sounds after all these years. lost my tapes long ago.
thank you all for participating and being the reason for this archive
Reviewer: Tigercat7 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 1, 2011
Subject: Jack Straw Phil's Bass is ALIVE
We had a blast at these shows. I remeber Little Feat opening up. Peolpe had bumper stickers that said "DEAD FEAT". Someone flew over the crowd in an engine propelled hand glider during Bird Song. The crowd really loved the newer stuff when it was played. I called The Wheel forming out of space. Listen to Phil's bass at Jerry's line "Gotta go to Tulsa, First train I can ride etc." I remember being there and listening to it and it seemed Phil's bass had come alive, almost like it was REALLY A LIVING BEING SINGING.
Reviewer: rollawaythedew! - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 8, 2011
Subject: FlavrFlav & GD Academia
I had a great time with some great friends at this show, and a great time listening in again this morning. Strong, well played, really fun 1st set. It's a fantastic 2nd set.

Read FlavrFlav's review from 2007 (see way below). Reminded me of a paper I wrote circa 1981 at C.W. Post College on Long Island. The paper was for a history of popular music class, or something like that and the subject/title of my paper was Acid Rock. I remember the inspiration for writing it was a quote attributed to Phil Lesh in a Relix article which went about like this: "acid rock is any music you listen to while high on acid." Somehow, me's a thinks this relates to this Oxford Speedway gig...

Have a nice day....
Reviewer: JamminGeorgeHargrove - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 8, 2010
Subject: Jerry POPPED my Cherry!!!
My very first show...I'll NEVER forget it!!
Got rushed in with the crowd..Standing on the speedway w/a full ticket in my hand and a huge (?) hanging over my head. walked to the back fence and saw a girl w/a NEED A MIRACLE sign..So-I gave her my ticket...Went wondering around looking for my friends(Who I lost at the gate madness)Next thing I know..The Dead are walking out onstage and everyone cheers and they just stand there tuning up and shooting the shit for like 20 minutes...and Im thinking...These guys are fuckin GREAT!!! LOL....Then all of a sudden they start playing "IKO-IKO" and the whole place explodes into a laughing,dancing,hugging great time...I looked around and said..."So THIS is what all the fuss is about"...I could'nt stop smiling and I knew my life would NEVER be the same again...GOD BLESS THE GRATEFUL DEAD (~);} BTW-The girl I gave my ticket to found me during D/S and gave me a HUGE hug and shared a nice STINKY bowl of HASH with me....All Good Things In All Good Time. :-)
Reviewer: groovernut - favoritefavorite - November 18, 2009
Subject: below average....
What? 4.5 stars... this show is not that good. I'm not hating on it it's just the recording is so so. These review should be realistic, they can't all be 4 or 5 star shows... realistically as this recording stands it's not a super momentous for the band... there are worse nights but this below average.
Reviewer: coradin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 6, 2009
Subject: Oxford Plains 88
I was at these show, actually the whole summer tour E and W. There was just a good vibe for these well as a monster traffic jam trying to get in.

I havent listened to these shows for a while now.The Playin Jam is righteous.


Reviewer: giantsjim - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 10, 2009
Subject: Mainely Joy
Drove up from Long Island, New York for these two shows. Second time in Maine, first was for the Dead in Portland 1986. These shows were simply plain, old fun. This first day/night there was a special groove-energy happening between the band and audience. It wasn't lazy and it wasn't forced. Kind of like a peaceful stillness between friends or lovers; nothing awkward about it- just comfortable and time did not matter. I mean, listen to Jerry during Row Jimmy. I am swaying in my seat right now.

I always have difficulty saying this song version is the best or this show was the best. Each and every one is different and so are we each and every time. There are different people, different scenes, and different intakes. Isn't that why we kept going all those years?

This JS is good but I like the angry energy from Syracuse 10/20/84 Jack which I also saw. Doesn't minimize this Jack, just different stuff happening and it is what I personally like. And if you are into the Phil thing, check him out on Foolish Heart although Jerry shreds the lyrics. I always thought Phil separated himself on The Other One, but again, that's just me.

Glad I was able to catch 60+ shows from 83-92 and a dozen or so JGB shows which were a real treat. This weekend definitely stand outs in my aging brain as a great, great weekend for everything: music, scene, weather and friends.
Reviewer: boogerchild - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 31, 2008
Subject: oxford
I was living in Maine at the time. It amuses me all the reviews talking about being out in the wilderness. It's Maine.

Here's what stands out in my memory. Getting there was slow, a traffic jam in Maine. Who's going to sing for Little Feat? Concensus was Robert Palmer. Getting in. Too many cows through a small cattle shoot. Finally and most of all...

Morning Dew
Reviewer: Petrus Romanus - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2008
Subject: Oxford
This was my first dead show. I used to have an arial of it - picture 200,000 to 250,000 inside and the same amount outside. It was almost as big as Woodstock. The speakers the band used were off-worldly - I've been to hundreds of different shows and never seen anything remotely similar. People were vibing in some kind of lovey dovey Midyan Shekinah... picture people competing to hand you a free ice cold beer as you walked down the road. Everything was suddenly free, and fairy pixys were running around dispensing drops of liquid acid rumor had it the band had procured and dispensed to "make" the party. There was liberal amounts of free Opium, or "soap-ium" and all us newbies were literally having out-of-body experiences. The band was "on", as I would learn in retrospect after many more shows. It was electric and possibly the largest communal gathering of freaks ever in human history. And does anyone remember the closing song we all chanted on for an hour after the concert was over... everybody singing as we strolled back to our tent-city...

Magical, Electric, Spiritual, the great hello and goodbye of the Greatful Dead. The biggest party every thrown by one band ever in human history. Oxford was the best of the best. p.s. I later met members of Little Feat when they played a baseball stadium in Maine.
Reviewer: fibonacci - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 2, 2008
Subject: Camp, Dose, Mary and the sunset!!!
I believe this was my second show of all time(1st was at w. centrum in 87). I was eighteen, just graduated from h.s. and was having the summer to end all summers!! Stayed at a family camp just over the border in NH friday night then went to the show on Saturday and spent the night at a pop up campsite near the speedway. This was the first time I dosed of which I remember peaking around terrapin into d/s. Thankfully some girl named mary held the string connected to my balloon of a trip. I remember the sunset was perfectly framed by the stage and the boys. What a show. In hindsight I think it ranks in my top five.
Oh to be eighteen again!
Reviewer: lbforlb - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 24, 2008
Subject: Saratoga > Rochester > Oxford
This was a solid run of shows. All vastly different in atmosphere. I believe this was the last time the Dead were able to play at Saratoga. One of the best outdoor venues the East Coast had to offer. Beautiful amphitheatre in a natural setting. I think the Rochester joint was a minor league baseball stadium, which was kind of bizarre. Oxford a wide open speedway/field kind of place. Musically, this was the best show of the leg. The Dead seemed fresh and energized for the show. I think they were inspired by Little Feat opening. This show is a good listen for sure. Thanks for the Matrix upload. Excellent sound.
Reviewer: skr213 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2008
Subject: A Great Show in the woods
Overall: by near unanimous decision - these are the best shows of East Coast summer 88. I don't think they are head and shoulders above others, but they do stand out (both at the time and even in hindsight with the benefit of listening to them all again). But I don't think that this night, in isolation, is a five star. Together the two nights are a five star, but this one just falls slightly short in my book. Aside from Jack Straw, the first set is not spectacular (it's very good, but doesn't hit that five star mark). The second set, however, is where things get great. The post-space section of this show can stand up to any other show I ever saw. And we couldn't ask for a better recording than this (love the crystal clear SBD/AUD mixes!!).

The scene: Chard, Peter and I drove up in the bus from Rochester. At some point I crawled in back for a nap and let Chard drive. When I woke up they were both trippin balls and we were pulling up to either a traffic jam or a roadblock - I don't remember which. What I do remember is that Chard's pupils were exploding all over his face and he was behind the wheel of my new baby with cops around. I was, uh, worried. Anyway, we made it out of that mess and wound up parking about a mile down from the venue in a little camp-type area with trees all around and only about 10 other cars. The sun was shining, it smelled like Maine in the summer time, and it was a beautiful day. Little Feat opened both nights, which was nice, but I actually enjoyed them more the next summer in Oregon. At these shows, I don't even think I went inside until they were almost done.

The music: Set I: um, can we get a sound check on Phil's bass? Yeah, that's nice. Now turn it to 11. Oh yeah, that's the stuff. Good song choices. Every song is really well played. Energy is flowing freely. Iko gets the crowd in the high energy dance mood. One of the best Jack Straw's I ever heard. Brent's piano animates Row Jimmy nicely. Blow Away keeps progressing, but at this early stage hadn't yet made it to where it ended up. His piano solo on this sounds a little bit "Little Feat" influenced, IMO. Maybe he was grooving to the opening act. Best Victim yet (in its short life span), giving a hint of the better, creepier, drawn-out jams that it would sprout later in its life. Foolish Heart is also getting better with each time out.

Set II: Crazy Fingers was just played two shows ago, but it's hard to ever argue that it's played too much, right? The jam isn't particularly special. The Playing jam, on the other hand, has Phil leading the charge and obviously everyone is really on. Jerry takes things deeper than usual for this time period (and even deeper a few weeks later at Laguna). This jam also allows more space (not in the drums>space sense) than was typical in 86-87 - that feeling that things can get loose without someone having to immediately step in and drag the jam into the next song. Towards the end of the jam, Bobby and Brent start chipping in nicely as well. UJB is good, but not great. I was fully expecting that they'd go into drums from UJB, and was very pleasantly surprised by Terrapin. The jam at the end of Terrapin is really nice. A furious space follows an interesting drums. Jerry is just going nuts all over that fretboard. As I stated above, this post-space section is as good as it gets in my book. Phil and Brent are fantastic for GSL. Listen to Phil and Jerry trading subtle beautiful chops in Morning Dew and you'll wonder, is this really 1988?? Just like Terrapin was a surprise before drums, we all expected Dew to end the set, so Sugar Mags was a great addition. Compared with most shows of this era, we really got two free extra songs this night (Terrapin and Sugar Mags). This Mags has legitimate energy - not one of those end-of-show dragging versions. Brent especially is strong on this one. Quinn ends the show on a high note.
Reviewer: Chris U. - favorite - January 2, 2008
Subject: Jack Strawful
Too much processed cheese will make you sick.
Reviewer: Dylan M - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 1, 2008
Subject: Exelent show
I absolutly love this show. The setlist is unbeatable, and for 1988, the energy is high in my opinion. Brent is definatly in an "on night" vocally and musically. He is using piano more than effects which is a rariety for these later 80s shows.

Opener Iko is energetic and Jer changes up the lyrics from the usual mix (Indian Boy wanna go downtown)

All of the 80s songs are performed top notch. West LA and Victim are excelent. Blow Away is about as 80s pop as the dead got, but Brent's enthusiam brings it to life. Foolish Heart could be one of the best iv'e ever heard. The boys are new to the Built to Last material and they are messing around with what they want for these songs. the result is opposite of the early In the Dark live material (sophomoric and often boring) these early Built songs are mostly better than the preceding years renditions and that is what makes this show a "five star" show.

Wheel>Gimmie Some Lovin' is always apreciated as is the clsoer Quinn the Eskimo.

Great example of the energy to come in the next year of the Dead's existence.
Reviewer: pnc - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 6, 2007
Subject: pretty good
the crazy fingers is well done... good sound. i would agree that at some points the energy seems to flag a bit, but Aiko is not one of those moments. It rocks... The stage banter is pretty funny too.
Reviewer: nick landess - - December 6, 2007
Subject: @FlavrFlav
I would definitely be interested in the paper you wrote.

I have expended much intellectual energy on the micro/macrocosm and the ergonomics of shows/tour and would love to hear some of the topics enumerated by someone else's words and language constructs as mine stall pretty quickly.

e-mail me at nick at landess dot org

Oh, and I love the fact that you turned it in two years late.

That's classic.
Reviewer: 73vw - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 19, 2007
Subject: cooking out/cooking in/ clean liqs & lobster...
There were some solid moments on this tour, first nite Oxford not withstanding...Phil really amped (purportedly on shrooms????) this night, strong garcia too, esp. 2nd, great playin/phil solos/exchange w/ jer...killer terrapin, space, dew, et al...needless to say, still really fun times summer 88/ great Maine energy too, as per usual...I think I saw the boys like 10 different times in Maine during the 80's!!! such fun.....
Reviewer: FlavrFlav - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 22, 2007
Subject: GD Community
Rarely do I read reviews closely since the shows were so subjective based on one's experience. The discussion here made me remember a class i took in college titled "The Community" which was about sub-cultures that exist in the U.S.

We didn't talk about tour, but I wrote the term paper, which was the entire grade, about Grateful Dead tour. Although I initially got an incomplete, and the paper was 2 years overdue, I got an A in the class when I finally turned it in. I must have kept deciding more first person research was neccessary. I have copies somewhere if anyone would like to read it.
Reviewer: majordomo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 28, 2007
Subject: weakened subculture?
folks--there is no mystery to what went wrong. subcultures exist tenuously. the dead scene got along pretty well while it remained invisible to MASS corporate culture. while the dead were hardly as non-corporate as people may have believed--i'm no apologist-- as an entity they were better and more civic minded than most. however, they brought on much of the misery themselves by going public with mtv etc.prior to all the touch of gray crap we had a scene that possesed its own ethos.the code of behavior was fairly flexible--and certainly flaunted by many who were just young and stupid--myself included probably early on-- and not really socialized into the scene yet. my first show in 81 i was 16 and just starting to get a clue-- alot of growing up to do. at the time it seems there were older dead heads still around to sort of provide some guidance and when that was no longer the case there was trouble in paradise.this was compounded by a cultural trend where peer groups are VERY narrow and segmented--another words,everyone REALLY socializes strictly within their own age group. to this day, the bulk of MY friends are older than myself.this is invaluble the end the weight of so many people requiring guidance and no real way to deliver it broke the chair. the summer 95 tour collapse of that structure in the midwest was the best metaphor of all. oh yea, the jack straw here is mad.
Reviewer: G. Ganter - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 24, 2007
Subject: The Candy
I was at both nights, and I tend to agree that these were not the best shows of the year (The first night Laguna Seca was better than both, IMHO.) HOWEVER, I really like the energy, and during the interplay on Iko (first night) and Pocky (second), they lay down the candy: an intense electric carpet of sparks and plasma. Check out Bobby and Jerry pouring on the liquid metal during the Pocky jam. Oh and everyone seemed like to like the energy of the Jack Straw this night.
Reviewer: godotmez - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 21, 2007
Subject: You must be joking...
I just stumbled on this show based on the stars and haven't listened yet, but I laughed out loud at the comment about the evil gate-crasher. To suggest that the Grateful Dead scene was a reflection of the individuals who paid for a ticket, didn't sell anything, didn't buy unauthorized merchandize, didn't linger and just came and left like it was a baseball game is commedy. It's true that the scene was in trouble by now, and the fans were clearly the problem; but the fans were also the reason that the scene lasted for decades. The Dead were a social extravaganza and it would be naive to separate the band from the crowd. It was an extraordinary community and like all commuinties there were the best and there were the worst of members. If you need to place blame for the demise of the Grateful Dead, you can only face time as the culprit.
Reviewer: JerryInaPouch - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 20, 2007
Subject: To CoolFrayers:
Listen I know this isnt a forum to stand personal gripes and bitches, but if I'm reading you right, then you're basically saying that you gate-crashed. Wow. The dead states the following, directly, in the form of a letter to all: "Over the past thirty years we've come up with the fewest possible rules to make the difficult act of bringing tons of people together work well -- and a few thousand so-called Dead Heads ignore those simple rules and screw it up for you, us and everybody. We've never before had to cancel a show because of you. Think about it.

If you don't have a ticket, don't come. This is real. This is first a music concert, not a free-for-all party. Secondly, don't vend. Vending attracts people without tickets. Many of the people without tickets have no responsibility or obligation to our scene. They don't give a shit. They act like idiots. They think it's just a party to get as trahed as possible at. We're all supposed to be about higher consciousness, not drunken stupidity.
-----> Want to end the touring life of the Grateful Dead? Allow bottle-throwing gate crashers to keep on thinking they're cool anarchists instead of the creeps they are. <---- (THAT'S YOU, COOL FRAYERS!!!!!!!!!!)

Want to continue it? Listen to the rules, and pressure others to do so. A few more scenes like Sunday night, and we'll quite simply be unable to play. The spirit of the Grateful Dead is at stake, and we'll do what we have to do to protect it. And when you hear somebody say "Fuck you, we'll do what we want," remember something.

That applies to us, too.

Phil, Jerry, Bobby, Mickey, Billy and Vince "

they said it better than I could./
Reviewer: CoolFrayers - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 3, 2006
Subject: Oxford was the best!
This was the first concert I have ever gone to see. It was with my late sister who used to follow them, from that day on I was hooked. This was by FAR the best show, and not just because it was my first, it just was the best.
We had tickets for the second day, but on day one a miracle happened. My Brother-in-law held up part of a fence as we were walking by. He had no intention of going in, but he felt I needed to. Everything was in slow motion. A friend and myself boogied for the fence, ( as best we could ;-) )Security was on our tail... the next thing I know we are inside..then we are dancing closer, ever closer, until we were at the stage. There were no crowds pushing, all good people, all good vibes, it was just all good.
Anyone that has pictures of the event please send them to me. I have a few, but this was the last most incredible thing I was able to sheare with my sister, and it was magic.
Reviewer: canuckhead - favorite - August 26, 2006
Subject: yuch!
I really feel sorry for since GD decided to changed the fomrat in which the soundboards are delivered. It sucks! and its not really their fault. No matter what computer I try to stream shows on, I get big gaps of silence in between shows. I will continue to use for other bands and for audience shows of GD, however when it comes to soundboards, I will going back to tape trading.
Reviewer: deadpeaked1974 - favoritefavorite - August 26, 2006
Subject: Phil Bombs.. so what?
While this show is worth listening to, I don't get the stupid Phil bomb thing. I spend alot of time streaming and I'm just looking for solid performances start thru finish (not the easiest thing). This gig is borderline. Come on.
Reviewer: Hogg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2006
Subject: Jackie!!!
Greatest Phil Bombs of all time. :) oh sweet jackie.
Reviewer: tripel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 9, 2006
Subject: its all about the Jack Straw
never even really listen to any other part of this show...

Phil is grooving hard and laying it down throughout ...and Jerry's tone to start the big jam always gives me chills
Reviewer: dmilks - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 18, 2006
Subject: 7/2/88
Gotta agree with cringle on this one. Good Sound, average lackluster performance. 3 stars tops in my book. Obviously the majority of reviewers don't agree with us. Oh well.
Reviewer: chuck35 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 8, 2006
Subject: The Ultralight
I'm so glad you mentioned the guy on the ultralight. I remember it like it was yesterday. One lane in, one lane out. Oxford was funnnnnn.
Reviewer: cringle - favoritefavorite - February 3, 2006
Subject: Bleh....
I dunno dudes. This show may have been a great overall experience for those who were there ... but IMO this show stacks up pretty weak. I went to an equally weak show in Miami in Oct. '88. Same muddled, sloppy, below-par deal.

Show has near-full SBD sound w/good ambient crowd noise - as per usual with a matrix source ... but that's about all the good I can say about it.

I really tried to dig this show, summer outdoor New England show w/festive Iko opening an all ... it's just not happenin.
Reviewer: Queenbead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 18, 2006
Subject: Great show!
Both of these Oxford shows stand out as being two of the best I ever went to. My husband agrees, and he'd been to well over 80 shows by the time we went to Oxford.
We were treated to some really rare banter from the stage, which was amusing.
There was a special "Dead moment" during Birdsong, when a man in an ultralight flew over the speedway, eliciting cheers of delight from the crowd. One of my friends took a photo of Brent, looking straight up to see what everyone else was looking at.
The jam in Crazy Fingers was absolutely inspired.
As the night wore on, it got quite chilly, setting up for an amazing Morning Dew. I highly recommend both shows.
Reviewer: jboyaquar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 10, 2006
Subject: Good gig but Saratoga still stands taller
1st Set: Why did the city of Boston preclude the band from playing the Garden or any other comprable arena? In addition where is the Oxford Speedway in relation to the city? Anyways, back to business: "Iko" is full of assured energetic Jerry singing. Warm, easy-going feelings abound between band and audience. The drummers bring a solid pacing to "Jack". the version especially comes alive during the second jam section, Phil Bombs aplenty...Yea! "West LA" is standard. "Don'tcha think the boys in the band are going to get jealous if you yell for me all the time. I want you guys to yell for Mickey, Bill, Bobby, Jerry Brent...Next time you hear someone say 'We Want Phil' you yell back 'We Want Brent, Mickey...' This hilarious rant then extends to each bandmember asserting his own goofy lines...demanding that the crowd screams the same for the crew, "We Want Steve."
And you know, Phil's right... he's the frickin bass player, and has two songs in his repertoire at the moment... lay off.
"Memphis Blues" is finely contoured, but I always appreciated when this song was in the after-ballad slot as we're moving to "Row." Bobby and Brent's activity help it move beyond the trudgery that sometimes afflicts stationary versions. "Blow"'s verses don't impress but you get a sense with the outro how impressively frantic if they choose to extend it beyond the song structure. There's more forward momentum than usual in this typically frightening "Victim." After the stand-alone song "Foolish" is quickly ushered in to seemingly close the set. It's fine but kinda fades away unconvincingly...the stirring requires more of a climax I do believe.

2nd Set: Twas a surprise to me that the set started out on a "Crazy" note considering the subdued nature of how the first concluded. That being said, this version flows magnificently, especially during the final couple of minutes. Nice rimmin' skiffle during "Playin"'s second verse...the band liftoffs afterwards making me extremely bitter towards my boss who's present... preventing me from spinning contorting my bod into desirable seizures. Predictably we end up grounding ourselves to do the "UJB" thing, which is good and all...but it's really a 'by the numbers' thing to do. If "Terrapin" didn't have verses to croak out, it would be a doozy. After four substantial songs, nobody should be shocked that it's "Drums" time. It and "Space" grooves into warmer regions signalling a lesson about the Circle of Life...ahem, "The Wheel." Can we say 'triple threat?' "Gimme" is a decent rocker but "Watchtower" is the real ambitious barnstormer both in dissonant design and execution. Like most tunes tonight, "Dew"'s feelings are better expressed through the music than the recitement of the lyrics. Uhhh, that is til Jerry's desperate pleadings during the third verse. (8:00 or so) "Sugar" is an ease of a good time...but nothing urgent or necessary for the lungs.

"Mighty" isn't quite at that level, but it's a simple clap-along.

3 1/2 stars
Reviewer: pigbro - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 12, 2005
Subject: Throng
Many thanks to the geniuses who created this matrix it is magnificent. This was the first time I took my wife to see the boys. I still recall the massive throng and finding my brother who decided to come at the last minute among the hundred thousand or so souls. I still amaze to think that we were able to find each other in those days before the advent of cell phones. I miss those days.
Reviewer: BeholdtheLambofGod - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 12, 2005
Subject: Kudo's to you who made this matrix
This really sounds nice, captureing the ambience of the live event, but also letting us hear the technical slurry of notes that can sometimes get lost. It has some really good energy with Phil going an extra mile..I was pleasantly surprised.
Reviewer: shruggy1987 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 8, 2005
Subject: Superb Sound
This is a beautiful mix! Thanks for all of the hard work!
Reviewer: shruggy1987 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 8, 2005
Subject: Superb Sound
This is a beautiful mix! Thanks for all of the hard work!
Reviewer: liddy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 7, 2005
Subject: oxford rules
Went to both of these shows - what a great experience. Very mellow parking lot camping scene. The just-reconstituted Little Feat to open (though identical sets both shows!).

Phil was the real highlight of this show for me. He busts out some speaker-shattering chords during jackstraw, and the band chatter he kicked off later in the 1st set is very funny. The setlist is mostly pretty standard stuff, but the 1st half of the 2nd set has some very nice jams.
Reviewer: Sluggo714 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 13, 2005
Subject: Great Shows!
I saw the Dead more than 50 times and the two nights in Maine were the highlights. Without a doubt the best scene-it seemed like "we" were alone in the wilderness. The crowd energy was amazing and the heads were as kind as could be. It was like a little Dead village set up for a weekend- the closest thing I ever got to a Woodstock-like experience.

The Iko-Jack straw just got things going- I distinctly remember the crowd noise rise when Bobby sang "Leavin' Texas, 4th day of July", but it's the 2nd set here that makes the show. Crazy Fingers opener so sweet, nice Uncle John's, terrific Wheel, absolutely amazing Dew and a wicked Quinn encore.

If you were there you have to have this one.
Reviewer: jhender501 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 10, 2005
Subject: A Great Time
My first show after a 15 year hiatus and it was great. A beautiful day, great parking lot scene and a great show..I was hoping for an IKO opener and got it, got a Row Jimmy (I kinda got a kick out of Bobby's guitar rowing)..loved the second set which I didn't think would ever end..Highlight of the second was the Crazy Fingers opener..a wonderful choise.another highlight was Watchtower during which I was sure I saw sparks shooting from Jerry's guitar..Morning Dew was a great surprise (for me) and a killer Sugar Mag. A great show to renew my relationship with the Dead
Reviewer: gonzoc - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2005
Subject: The Pepto Pink
Ah yes, Bobby's pepto pink strat. In addition, let's not forget the sleeveless cut-off t-shirt to underscore the point that he had been lifting recently. To me, Oxford was the height of Bobby's wannabe-ness.

A particularly funny moment occurred during one of the choruses of Row Jimmy (probably the one right after the 3rd verse where Brent used to solo), when Bobby gets the notion to grab his guitar like a canoe paddle and starts paddling air--very purposely and seriously. This is the genius of Bob. Phil sees him, makes a jerky motion back and forth with his bass that clearly indicates to the rest of the band and entire audience that, yes, Bobby is indeed an ass. Bob catches Phil out of the corner of his eye, becomes completely self-conscious, and sheepishly goes back to actually playing his guitar. Sublime.

There was a lot of banter from the stage this summer tour. In fact, I seem to recall them having almost like little "bits" worked out. Punchline Jerry: "Don't listen to Weir, he's been crazy all these years." To thunderous applause of course.

The sound was magnificent these two days (at least from where I was squished on Day 1--Day 2 was back further, and the sound seemed even better out there). I recall heads trying to get a Help>Slip>Frank chant organized pre-show. The crude butterfly tattoo on the butt of an oblivious dancer stripped buck naked during the first set and having the audience part like the Red Sea before Moses as she majestically danced her way to the front. Laughing so hard my jaw hurt for 3 days.

Most of all I remember that sunset behind the boys as Crazy Fingers began.
Reviewer: lobster12 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 29, 2005
Subject: fun time
Good show. The new songs are a work in progress to say the least, but well played and enjoyable. Bobby's pink guitar still lights up the maine sky.
Reviewer: boobychew - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 19, 2005
Subject: Siiiiiickkkkkkkkkkk Dew!

Sound is very good, mix is tight...Phil is thunderous. Def. download
Reviewer: - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 7, 2004
Subject: 2 great nights to remember
just what a dead show should be,great music!,wonderful surroundings, and the interaction between band and fans. we always talk about these shows.the times have certainly well everyone
Reviewer: MALACHI CONSTANT - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 14, 2004
Subject: driftin and dreamin
what can u say about oxford last great parking lot scene spent the 1st night wandering the woods lost seeking pennywise the clown HIGH BIRD WAS I!!! total power-PHIL shows
Reviewer: NOLA funkster - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 1, 2004
Subject: oxford
Best shows in 88. It's in my top ten all time.The banter,bombs,and really cool camping scene was something that I will never forget.Get em now!
Reviewer: - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2004
Subject: performance better than recording
the recording is not that crisp. not sure why this is the most popular show of this year.
09-11-88 is superior to this recording.
Reviewer: Joe Shlobotnick - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 9, 2004
Subject: We want Steve!!!
On my old AUD tape, you can clearly hear the crowd reacting to the banter in the first set. Folks were yelling out "Steve!!"and "Mickey!!". When Jerry mentioned wanting "volunteers from the audience", you could hear the perfect response from a guy in the crowd: "Take us ALL, man!!"

They took us all, alright. Best show of 88, hands down. Nice recording, too.
Reviewer: swinnies - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 1, 2004
Subject: Hot Show!
Man Phil is droppin clusters everywhere!!! why the hell would jerry be jealous of the crowd chanting "we want phil"? the band was having fun with it, no jealousy goin on!!!
phil leaving bombs on jack straw that hurt!!! by far the best show of 1988!!!! get it!
Reviewer: utopian - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 30, 2004
Subject: Nice Show
If you like jack straw and phil bombs
check out 11-25-79.
Reviewer: DeadDave - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 5, 2004
Subject: Phil's the man

The Phil bombs are intense...The dead always played their best in Maine.

Note: The Drums and Space are cut short on this one. Get the Drums and Space from the SBD (only) they are complete (and absolutely insane)!!!
Reviewer: Uleev - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 12, 2004
Subject: We want Phil
Hooked up with a taper friend after the Silver Stadium show and road up to Oxford in a VW bus. The guy looked like Zonker from Doonesbury. I found a "cozy" spot very near the front. The band definitely heard the chanting for Phil and it must of got on Jerry's nerves cause during UJB he sang "AIN'T nobody's choice.....". Wasn't trippin and he got a glance or two from other band members to confirm my ears. Great site.
Reviewer: Hogg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 11, 2004
Subject: Jackie!!!
Greatest Phil Bombs of all time. :) oh sweet jackie.
Reviewer: 80sdeadhd - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 8, 2004
Subject: Memorable Show
I too was at this show and it was very memorable. Little Feat opened up both nights. Beautiful country around Oxford.

This show is especially good if you're a Philhead like me. Phil goes absolutely nuts during Jack Straw. Listen to this show on a system with a good subwoofer.
Reviewer: gambit - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 7, 2004
Subject: one for the books
Part of what makes this show so fondly remembered is that it was just a damn fun time. As for the tunes, the stuff that makes this a stand-out is (surprise) in the pre-drums segment - esp. the Fingers -> Playin. For my money, though, it's the Dew that keeps me comin' back to this show. Just huge. The Let Phil Sing banter is pretty funny, complete with a request for volunteers from the audience! Now THAT would've been a good time!
Reviewer: blackelk - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 4, 2004
Subject: Phil droppin' the bombs on Jack Straw
Gotta love it. Great great show. You can view some photos here:
Reviewer: Honest Injun - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 3, 2004
Subject: Let Ramrod sing!!
I originally got this tape unlabelled and tried to guess what year it was. From the high energy and great playing and banter I thought it was mid-70's. Of course, when they got to West LA Fadeaway, even the newbie that I was at the time realized it was a much more current show. One of the best of the year.
Reviewer: riggy68 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 3, 2004
Subject: creamer lovin maine
This was one beautiful day in Maine. The band sounded great and tight. This one a very nicest experience I had seeing the dead. Wish I could relive this day again and again. sound quality is good for audience recording
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